“What the hell is 'Emotions 101'?” Kim Mihyun, better known as Mimi asked her girlfriend Yoo Shiah while leaning against the counter in their compact and cramped kitchen. They shared the small house with their roommates, friends, and fellow couple Choi Seungcheol and Yoon Jeonghan. They were two of few LGBTQ+ couples at their college and they kept a close knit group of friends around them.
“Its one of my classes Mimi” Shiah said rolling her eyes as she popped about 20 grapes into her mouth and continued to scramble some eggs for her and her roommates.
“I don't think that's an actual class, who the hell teaches a class called 'Emotions 101', and what would even be on that syllabus?”
“You know those theater majors are weird, they'll come up with anything as a class” Jeonghan murmured as he reached for one of his soy milk containers in the refrigerator.
Mimi laughed and combed through her long blonde hair while Shiah glared and shoved Jeonghan on the way out of the kitchen.
“Well it says it on my schedule so it has to be a real class” Shiah said shrugging while tossing her schedule onto their cheap and probably fake marble table in their dining room. She fixed the cuff on her right leg trying to make it as straight as possible before sitting down.
“Just because its printed on the paper doesn't make it exactly real, y'know.” Seungcheol stated as he walked into the dining room, hair still wet from the hotter than Hades showers he liked to take.
Mimi, Shiah, and Jeonghan collectively sighed and rolled their eyes muttering “Philosophy majors...” Seungcheol was known for his over thinking and excessive rants about the meaning of life and the history of people as a species. Despite all of that he still found time to try to get people to buy his mixtapes to no avail.
“Hannie did you ask that friend of yours if he sold any of my mixtapes yet? It's been 3 days already...” Seungcheol frowned. Maybe he doesn't like me he thought to himself.
Jeonghan squinted his eyes at Seungcheol while continuing to shove the eggs Shiah made into his mouth. “Thothhtuuaa??”
“Who?” Mimi asked laughing at Jeonghan choking. He glared at her and swallowed, looking back at Cheol “Are you talking about Joshua? I'm not sure...”
Seungcheol sighed while running his hands through his hair. “Its hot fire and I know it'll catch on, I just need more people to hear it”
Mimi snorted and patted him on the back “Good luck.” she said as she got up to get her backpack ready for school.
Her shared room with Shiah was painted white with lemons and cherries everywhere, to which they dubbed the “Fruit Room”. As she reached for her backpack sitting in her chair she glanced at the framed photograph of the four of them sitting on her desk. She smiled thinking about when they took that picture a little less than a year ago during the middle of their sophomore year. She knew Jeonghan the longest since they met in high school around the end of freshman year. He was the first person that she knew who was out and proud. At the time she struggled to accept that she was gay and secretly looked up to the fact he was so confident and would watch him when she thought he wasn't looking.
It was a Thursday and about two months before their freshman year ended when Mimi was outside her high school waiting for her mother to come pick her up in their small barely functioning car. She put in one ear bud to listen to her favorite song at the time, “Wonderful” by Big Bang. It was from the first album she ever got called Remember and she still over played the album a year and half later. She looked up every few seconds to see if her mother arrived and at one point she looked up to see Jeonghan with a bunch of guys crowded around him. She immediately got chills and got a bad feeling about the entire situation. She ripped her ear bud out and stood up, quickly walking closer to the confrontation.
“Keep that gay shit out of here you fag, I don't ever want to have to tell you that again. You hear?” the biggest of the bunch said glaring at Jeonghan.
Jeonghan just rolled his eyes.“I don't understand why you're so offended by me... maybe you're gay yourself?” He smirked at the last part of his question.
The guy fumed and raised his fist to punch Jeonghan in the face when Mimi ran up to him yelling and swinging wildly. The rest of the guy's friends looked shocked and started to run away once they saw how dangerous Mimi was.
The guy was yelling at Mimi to stop and that she was actually hurting him but she didn't stop until Jeonghan had to physically pull her off of him. She kept swinging and kicking until she realized she was nowhere near the man.
Jeonghan squatted down in front of her in awe “WOW!” he exclaimed before taking her hands into his, to check for any injuries.
Adrenaline was still rushing through Mimi's veins even as she looked up at him and spoke. “Are you okay? I thought they were gonna kill you”
Jeonghan laughed “With you around, I don't think they'd ever even say a word to me, much less touch me.” He paused and looked her in the eye. “Thank you.”
Mimi just shook her head “It's not right for them to treat you that way, we're all the same on the inside. What he said just made me so angry.” She frowned rubbing her hands together.
Jeonghan nodded and held her hands for a while. He knew she would follow him around and watch him. He also knew she was like him and that they needed each other for support. While he was proud of who he was and confident, it did suck he had no one to talk to. He was also very lucky his parents still accepted him despite the fact he was gay. He had heard many stories of people's own flesh and blood disowning them and banning them from the family forever. However, he didn't have many friends and the ones he did were more of acquaintances than anything. He smiled knowing with Mimi around he'd be okay.
“Hey Mihyun do we have any classes together?” Jeonghan came into the Fruit Room mumbling while looking down at his schedule in his hands.
Mimi laughed turning around to him “Well, knowing your indecisive ass, probably.” She shook her head while muttering something about how she couldn't believe he was still undecided as a college junior.
Jeonghan glared at her, a constant in their friendship.“Whatever.... what were you doing in here for so long anyway? We're all waiting for you.”
“Ahhh.. just looking at this picture of us. It reminded me of when we first met in high school.”
Jeonghan smiled and went over to look at the group picture. He quickly put it down when he saw an atrocious picture of him and Mimi during their sophomore year. He was wearing a bright orange puffy jacket with yellow sunglasses while she was wearing a green and purple jumper with a white fedora.
“WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS?” He threw the picture down like it bit him while looking at Mimi incredulously.
Mimi burst out laughing almost bringing tears to her eyes. “You don't remember? We had that phase where we thought we were fashionistas even with the little money we had we “made it work” and were style icons.”
“Us, apparently” Mimi said still laughing. “I can't believe you really don't remember that.”
“Remember what?” Seungcheol asked coming into the Fruit Room, Shiah trailing behind him curious as well.
“Nothing.” Jeonghan said shoving the picture behind his back thinking no one noticed but before he could hide it anywhere else, Shiah pinned his arms and Seungcheol grabbed the picture.
“WHAT IS THIS?”
Both Shiah and Seungcheol looked at the other two in horror as Mimi chuckled and Jeonghan buried his face in his hands.
“It's time for school.” Jeonghan rushed out the room trying to ignore Seungcheol laughing at him and Shiah's shrieks. Mimi just laughed and made sure she had her phone charger before leaving her room.
The laughter continued while Jeonghan glared at the three of them as they piled into Shiah's mini coup. Jeonghan tried to drown them out by blasting “Month of June” by Mckay, but their laughter drowned out one of his favorite songs instead. He glared at them but when he turned to look out the window he couldn't help but smile.
Seungcheol furrowed his brow as Jeonghan bounced away from their group conversation, long black hair bouncing along with him, to hug his friend Joshua Hong. Mimi and Shiah looked his way and he quickly regained his composure before giving Josh a quick handshake and a hello. He bit his lip and looked down as Mimi and Shiah gave their regards, trying to not show his worry and the jealousy written on his face.
Jeonghan nudged him. “You okay?”
Seungcheol nodded and looked up smiling. “Yeah why wouldn't I be?”
Jeonghan squinted at him but shrugged and continued to talk to Joshua. The American boy he befriended his junior year of high school had dropped out of college their freshman year to live his dream of becoming an artist. He had yet to make it big, two and a half years later, and was still performing guerilla concerts in Hongdae, getting enough tips to just barely pay rent and survive. Jeonghan would stop by from time to time and buy him groceries and little necessities because he knew how important this was to him. He was at the school to see if he could get some new guitar strings for free due to his snapping during an intense live session the night before.
“You know.... I might have some in my studio.” Mimi said tapping her chin.
“Really?” Josh asked surprised, forgetting Mimi was a music major. He had always admired the girls creativity skills when it came to music and was slightly jealous she was so good at literally everything. He didn't remember her ever playing guitar, but that could have been something she easily picked up.
“Yeah! If you want to come find me after classes are over, I can totally get them for you.”
Josh smiled. “Thanks Mi, you're the best.”
“She sure is.” Shiah said winking at Mimi and grabbing her by the waist. Jeonghan and Seungcheol scrunched up their faces in disgust, while Josh just chuckled and smiled at them before taking his leave.
“ALRIGHT EVERYONE START HEADING TO CLASS!”
Shiah turned at the sound of a familiar voice and beamed when she saw it was who she thought it was.
“HYOJUNG!!!!” Shiah threw herself at the smaller but brighter senior. She didn't realize how much she missed Hyojung's warm and inviting smile. She constantly called her the smile queen. She looked behind Hyojung who was currently being smothered by Shiah, to see Hyojung's even smaller best friend Shin Hyejin. They claimed they were “frienemies” but everyone knew that was a lie and that they were just very competitive.
Hyojung was Shiah's orientation leader as well as tutor and just overall mentor on many things. She helped Shiah decide on not only her major, but on asking Mimi out as well. She felt as if she owed Hyojung her life and she was terrified when the reality hit her that this was Hyojung's last year in school.
“I cant believe this is your last year!” Shiah pouted and whined clutching Hyojung for dear life.
“I know, I know.” Hyojung said barely breathing. She was sad she had to leave Shiah behind too but she needed to graduate if she ever wanted to become a teacher. Children brought joy to her heart and she couldn't wait to finally be able to teach them.
Shiah turned to Hyejin. “Did you end up getting that internship at the beauty school?”
Hyejin beamed. “I did! I start in 2 months and go until around April, basically right before graduation.”
“That's awesome!” Mimi exclaimed. She always thought cosmetology was cool even though she was never really into hair or makeup. She admired Hyejin in a older sister kind of way despite not talking to her very much.
“I guess all that work playing with Hyojung's dead hair and dry face really paid off.” Hyejin snorted as Hyojung shoved her, eyebrows furrowed.
“My hair is NOT dead and my face is NOT dry, thank you very much!”
“Yeah, thanks to me.” Hyejin laughed while Seungcheol grinned. He always loved their banter.
Hyojung was too busy yelling at both Hyejin and Seungcheol that she almost didn't catch someone calling her name in one of the most softest voices she had ever heard.
The girl tapped her while calling her name again. “Um...Hyojung.. Choi... Hyojung...right?”
Hyojung turned around to see the most beautiful girl she had ever laid eyes on. “Yes!” she replied wide-eyed and in awe.
The girl had small eyes and a sharp nose with the prettiest set of lips. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail and she had bangs that seemed plastered to her forehead. She was wearing a light blue blouse with a black pleated skirt and black and blue patent leather two inch heels. She was clutching a blue tote bag and what looked like a schedule in her hands for dear life.
“Oh. Well I'm Arin. Well. Im actually Choi Yewon, but. I...uh I'd like to be called Arin...”
Hyojung beamed at her. “Well okay Arin! I saw your name on my list, so I will formally introduce myself as your orientation leader!”
Arin blushed as she was quickly whisked away by Hyojung, nodding her head respectfully to the others before they could even say bye to Hyojung.
Hyejin stood in awe. “Never in my life have I seen her so entranced by anyone....she's not even like that around me!”
The four laughed and patted Hyejin's back before scrambling to get to class before they were already marked tardy on their first day back. It was a bad look, especially for Seungcheol, to ever be late. However, he couldn't help but think of Joshua and Jeonghan as he sat in yet another Philosophy course. He was so bothered he barely realized the professor had called his name two times until the guy next to him shoved him and he looked up and saw his professor staring at him.
“Mr. Choi, I've had you in my classes for two years now. Did you suddenly change your name?”
“Uhh no ma'am, I'm sorry, just a bit distracted.”
“Already?” His professor chuckled but continued the rest of the roll call.
Seungcheol sighed not sure why he felt the way he did. His sigh must have been loud because the guy next to him nudged him and asked if he was okay. Seungcheol just shrugged and put his head down.
It was all just syllabus talk so Seungcheol rested his eyes a bit until he felt the guy next to him shaking him awake.
“Hey, class is over dude.”
“Wha--” Seungcheol groggily looked at the guy. He was wearing a black bomber jacket with a large red W sewn on the right chest. He had on these cool black jeans with chains and ribbons paired with black combat boots. The guy looked extremely intimidating with his cold dark eyes, sharp nose, and thin mouth. Seungcheol thought the guy was scary even though he was twice the guys size.
“Umm.. well my name is Wonwoo and you seemed kind of stressed so I... if you ever need someone to talk to I guess.. here's my number” the guy shoved a piece of paper at Seungcheol before rushing off.
Seungcheol was dumbfounded. He had never seen the guy in his life and he suddenly had a new friend? Did he seem that depressed? Seungcheol grabbed his stuff slowly and got up to go to his next class when his professor paused her video for the next class and looked up at him with sad eyes.
“Everything okay, Cheol?”
“Yeah, I'm fine.” He mustered up a smile to his favorite professor before trudging off to his next class. He knew however, everything was not fine and he needed to find a way to fix it and quick before everyone and their mother asked him the same question. He knew the root of the problem too, but how do you get rid of something that makes your happiness, happy?
Seungcheol: uh hey its seungcheol from ur phi 103 class...
Wonwoo: oh hey.
Wonwoo: yeah.u okay?
Seungcheol: um well not really can we like talk in person or something?
Wonwoo: uh yeah do u mind coming to my place? Or …
Seungcheol: do you live with anybody?
Wonwoo: yeah... but hes.. hes not home right now so it should be ok
Seungcheol: … alright uh send me ur address?
Seungcheol: ok on my way